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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

192               THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

to the doctor in the early stages of the complaint, when curative
treatment might still be efficacious. The mothers "understood the
idea, but they could not recognize the early deformities because
they had had no sense-training in fine discrimination of forms
slightly divergent from the normal. Hence these lessons were
rendered useless.

If we think carefully we shall perceive that almost all the
adulteration of food substances is made possible because of the
sluggish state of the senses in most people. Industrial fraud is
fostered by the lack of sense-education among the masses, just
as the fraud of the swindler depends upon the guilelessness of
the victim. We often see buyers relying upon the honesty of
the seller or putting faith in the trustworthiness of a firm
when deciding on purchases; and this is because they kck
the physical ability to gain knowledge directly, the power
to distinguish by the senses the differentiating characters of
substances.

Finally in many cases intelligence is rendered useless
through lack of practice, and this practice is almost always
education of the senses. It is a fundamental necessity for every-
one, in practical life, to obtain exact knowledge of the stimuli
derived from the environment.

But pretty often in the adult sense-education is difficult, as is
the education of the hand of an adult who wishes to become a
pianist. The education of the senses must begin in the for-
mative period of life, if we wish later on to raise it to a high level
through education and to apply it to some special form of culture.
For this reason the education of the senses ought to begin
methodically in childhood, and then be continued during the
period in which the individual is being educated for the practical
life of the world he will live in.

Otherwise, we isolate the man from his surroundings and
prolong the time necessary to acquire a professional ability. In
fact, when we believe that we are completing education through
intellectual culture we are making thinkers fit to live only outside